Many, including Powell himself, have asserted that the unanimously hostile critical reaction to Peeping Tom destroyed its directors career. It was not so much that all of the reviews were negative, it was the unprecedented level of hostility that made the industry take note. The Tribunes Derek Hill may have said it the most memorably: "The only really satisfactory way to dispose of Peeping Tom would be to shovel it up and flush it down the nearest sewer. Even then the stench would remain..."
It is a mistake, however, to assume that these negative reviews were also totally responsible for the films poor fortune. Any work in the horror genre was almost guaranteed a scathing review by the British critics, but this did not usually spell box office failure.